As the new year draws closer, we’ve decided to take a look the music that’s gotten us to where we are today. So in an effort to broaden our musical horizons and our understanding of contemporary artists, we’re counting down 2012 by counting up from 1952, taking a look at a handful of songs from a different year every day until January 1st. You can find the full list here. Today we’re heading back to 1962!
The Beatles – “Love Me Do”
The Beatles’ first single! “Love Me Do” was written mostly by a sixteen year-old Paul McCartney four(ish) years earlier, and recorded with John Lennon on the harmonica. It launched the band, but it was still be a few years before Beatlemania spread like mutated avian flu.
Bob Dylan – “Song to Woody”
And in the same year the Beatles make their debut, Bob Dylan – né Robert Zimmerman - releases his first and largely ignored self-titled record. This song for Woody Gutherie, one of Dylan’s largest influences, is one of only two original compositions from the 13-song affair. While still respected, this release wasn’t the one to launch Dylan’s legendary career. That’ll come next year…
The Beach Boys – “Cuckoo Clock”
1962 also saw the debut album from The Beach Boys, Surfin’ Safari. The album is almost entirely comprised of originals penned by frontman and shitty dude Mike Love, but “Cuckoo Clock” is Brian Wilson’s one contribution, telling an age-old story of having your sexual advances interrupted by a clock.
The Shirelles & King Curtis – “I Still Want You”
In contrast to the three highly significant debut releases mentioned above, here’s a cut from an album that nobody cares about, pretty much at all. But this song is great! It’s the only collaborative track on the otherwise split album, A Shirelles & King Curtis Give a Twist Party, which puts influential saxophonist King Curtis alongside girl-group pioneers The Shirelles.